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Steven Zaillian Bails On Jack Ryan Reboot, Project Stalled As Paramount Focuses On 'Star Trek 2'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 29, 2011 at 3:29AM

It's been a helluva merry-go-round of writers on Paramount's gestating reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise. A little bit of history: it started as an origin story penned by Hossein Amini ("The Four Feathers," the upcoming "Drive"); then Paramount picked up the spec script "Dubai" by Adam Cozad tasking the writer to re-draft it for a Jack Ryan vehicle; Anthony Peckham ("Sherlock Holmes," "Invictus") then put his hands on the script, only for Cozad to come back and give it another tinker; finally, last month, expensive and very hot screenwriter Steve Zaillian was hired to give it another rewrite but it looks like they need to find someone else.
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It's been a helluva merry-go-round of writers on Paramount's gestating reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise. A little bit of history: it started as an origin story penned by Hossein Amini ("The Four Feathers," the upcoming "Drive"); then Paramount picked up the spec script "Dubai" by Adam Cozad tasking the writer to re-draft it for a Jack Ryan vehicle; Anthony Peckham ("Sherlock Holmes," "Invictus") then put his hands on the script, only for Cozad to come back and give it another tinker; finally, last month, expensive and very hot screenwriter Steve Zaillian was hired to give it another rewrite but it looks like they need to find someone else.

Deadline reports that Zaillian quietly left the project within in the last couple of weeks effectively putting the project on hold at Paramount. The plan now is for the studio to focus on getting "Star Trek 2" up and running this fall with Chris Pine, before figuring out what to do with the Jack Ryan vehicle. Apparently, the studio was tossing around the idea of just rushing the damn thing into production this year in a mediocre version but thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

Plot details are under wraps for the most part but it's said to be taking a page from "The Hunt For Red October" with the story focusing on "a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year old platoon leader in the US Marines. He was the only member of the platoon to survive."

No word yet on who will come in to tweak the screenplay with but with so many hands in the pot we hope it hasn't soured the material; watching this get committee'd to death would be shame. We presume that Paramount will be doing everything to woo JJ Abrams who has still not signed for "Star Trek 2" into the director's chair so they can boldly go where cash is sure to be guaranteed.

"Star Trek 2" is set for a June 29, 2012 release.

This article is related to: Actors, Film Studios, Steve Zaillian, Paramount


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